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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2020

 
 
     
   
   

 

   
   
 
Papuan Olive Python
   
   

Family : PYTHONIDAE
Species : Apodora papuana
Maximum Size : 4.3 metres

One of the largest of Papua New Guinea's snakes, the Papuan Olive Python is a species of rainforest and savanna.

Its body is thick and stocky, and reaches over 4 metres in length. The head is short and blunt, and slightly wider than the body.

Dorsal scale colour is of various tones of brown or grey-brown, and is lighter on the lower flanks and darker on the higher flanks and upper surface. The underside is lighter in colour, as are the lips, chin and throat. The eyes are medium in size, with vertical pupils. Some specimens may possess a dark stripe behind the eye.

Its diet comprises mainly mammals : typically pythons will identify by scent the regular pathway of a forest floor mammal, and then wait in ambush for an opportune moment to strike its passing prey.

The Papuan Olive Python is widely distributed in mainland Papua New Guinea and a few offshore islands. It also ranges westwards to the Indonesian province of Papua (formerly Irian Jaya).


Figs 1 to 3 : A 4-metre specimen from Southern Highlands Province, PNG.  

Photos : Anon


References : H6

 

 

Fig 1
 
Photo : Anon
Fig 2
 
Photo : Anon
Fig 3
 
Photo : Anon